March 16, 2016

Top News Stories –

Chinese city brings in penalty points for dog owners –
A city in eastern China is tackling negligent dog owners with a new driving licence-style system. The pilot scheme, which started this month, gives pooches in the city of Shaoxing a licence pre-loaded with 12 points which are then gradually docked for breaking the rules, Qianjiang Evening News reports. Taking a dog into a public place such as a school or restaurant will cost an owner three points, while “failing to take effective measures” to stop a badly behaving dog results in six points being docked. A microchip under the dog’s skin will hold data on the penalties incurred. The biggest penalties are reserved for owners who use their pets to cause deliberate wounding, and those who abandon or abuse their animals – they’ll lose all 12 points and be banned from reapplying for an ownership licence. “Like drink-driving and other bad behaviour, dog owners will be blacklisted, and won’t be able to raise dogs again,” says city official Zhang Zhuoming. The paper says Shaoxing has experienced problems with both stray and domestic dogs, with more than 7,000 dog biting incidents registered last year. [BBC]

Pigeons track air pollution in London with tiny backpacks –
A small flock of pigeons have been given tiny backpacks to monitor air pollution in London. The project was dreamt up by Plume Labs, a company focused on the environmental problem, and the marketing agency DigitasLBi. The rucksacks are fitted to the birds using small fabric vests, and the sensors inside are able to measure nitrogen dioxide and ozone levels. Only 10 birds are in flight at any one time, so the amount of data being collected is pretty small. However, it’s still a creative way of analysing the air that millions breathe in every day in the capital. [Endgadget]

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X-Men: Apocalypse | Official Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX

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Other News Stories –

Armed conflicts and attacks
Disasters and accidents
  • The Washington Metro, a commuter rail system which transports nearly 1 million passengers across the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area per day, shuts down to allow for an emergency inspection of 600 electrical cables, following two fires occurring over the past 14 months. Officials say the system is scheduled to resume service by the following morning, though individual Metro lines or stations could remain closed indefinitely if problems are identified. (The Washington Post) (The Washington Times) (CBS News)
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Science and technology
  • Scientists release a small flock of pigeons, dubbed “The Pigeon Air Patrol”, carrying tiny backpacks to monitor London‘s air quality during a period of moderate to high pollution. The backpacks contain sensors used to measure nitrogen dioxide and ozone levels. (Engadget) (The Guardian)
  • The PGA of America announces it is discontinuing the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, a special postseason event among the year’s winners of the four major championships of regular men’s golf. This year, it was set to be held at Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles, California. The 2015 event was cancelled after the PGA decided to move the exhibition contest from the same Trump Club, and they couldn’t find a replacement course golf course with suitable dates. (AP) (PGA) (ESPN)

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